Are you looking for a radon mitigation company? If you aren’t specifically searching for one, you might actually be asking yourself, “What in the Lord’s green tarnation is a radon mitigation company?”
This is not surprise. Most people aren’t aware of the risk that radon poses to the human body, and so have no idea what a radon mitigation company does or why it’s necessary. If that’s you, you should check out our list of commonly asked questions regarding radon, below:
Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Residential Radon Testing
- What in the world is radon?
Radon is an element that is represented by “Rn” on the table of elements that you ignored in your high school chemistry class. It is a radioactive gas that occurs naturally in the soil. Almost every type of soil has radon to some degree, but you’ve never noticed because it has no smell, color, or taste.
- If radon is everywhere, why would you need to test for it?
While you’re constantly exposed to some levels of radon when you breath in the atmosphere, or drink water, or take a shower, the risk comes when you are exposed to high levels of radon. The levels of radon that naturally occur in the great outdoors are fairly low, since they naturally dissipate. However, if radon leaks into your home, it gets trapped and can’t dissipate. When this happens, your lungs breath in concentrated levels of the radioactive gas. Exposure to radon over a long period of time can have an extremely harmful impact on your health.
- What happens when a person is exposed to a high level of radon?
Since radon has no smell, taste, color, or other indicator of its presence, it is easy to live in high levels of radon for years without knowing it. Studies show that long term exposure to high levels of radon has been linked to serious health conditions, such as lung cancer and stomach cancer.
- What makes a home at risk for radon exposure?
The most obvious sign that a home could have radon exposure is if there are any cracks or openings in the foundation, in which the radon can seep in from the soil below. However, since radon is a gas, it can seep in from crevices that are so small they can’t even be seen. Also, some homes are predisposed to have high radon levels because of the type of soil that it sits on.
Some research suggests that as many as 15% of American homes have high levels of radon, with the inhabitants not even realizing it. This is why it’s a good idea to conduct a radon test yourself, or hire a radon mitigation company to conduct a test when you first move into a home, and every few years, or as directed by the radon testing and inspection service that you use.
- How is a home tested for radon levels?
The simplest way to conduct a radon test yourself is with a short-term test kit that you can find at your local hardware store. You would put the kit in the lowest level of your home, in a room at least one person spends a few hours in per day. You’ll let the test kit sit in the room with the doors and windows closed for at least 48 hours. After that, you’d send the kit to a lab for testing.
If the test comes back positive, you’ll want to bring in a radon abatement company for further testing. Keep in mind that radon levels naturally fluctuate, depending on the time of year, the weather, and unusual factors outdoors (such as construction). So the short-term test could return positive even if you really don’t have high levels. However, it won’t return negative unless there really isn’t a risk. So this is a simple way to rule out the threat.
- What can be done about high radon levels?
If you have high levels of radon in your home, your radon abatement company will put a pipe or tunnel from your foundation, leading away from the home. This will act as a suction that will pull the radon away from the home so it doesn’t get trapped indoors, for you to inhale.
Do you have any other questions or comments? Share in the comments!